Category Archives: Website Fun
With the death of Wes Craven still carving the hearts of the horror community, many tributes have flooded social networks. They’re heartfelt, and many show great imagination. Some, however, are showing the wrong Freddy. I know what you’re thinking, What do you mean “the wrong Freddy”? How many Freddys are there? The answer is nine. There are nine Freddy Kruegers. Official Freddy Kruegers, I mean, that have been in the films (and even on TV). Two actors (primarily) played him. I know, it may not seem like a big thing, but seriously, if you’re so much a fan of something that you want to make a tribute to it, then do it right. And since I’m a teacher by day, I’ll take it upon myself to teach you.
Any questions? No? All right, let’s begin with a….
What is wrong with these DVD and Blu-ray covers?
If you answered “Nothing,” then this why we’re here. The Freddy Krueger on the cover of the Blu-ray cover of the A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 & 3 collection isn’t in either of those movies. It’s the Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street 4. Hell, the house doesn’t even appear in any of the movies. Now the cover of the Nightmare on Elm Street Collection DVD cover is even more problematic. This collection offers all the Nightmare movies from 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street to Freddy vs. Jason, all of which starred Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger. However, the cover shows Jackie Earl Haley’s Freddy Krueger from 2010’s A Nightmare on Elm Street remake—er…reboot, sorry. Oh, and poorly Photoshopped onto Mr. Haley’s Freddy’s body is the classic Freddy glove. And by classic, I mean the glove from Freddy vs. Jason, which is supposed to look like…oh, we’ll get to that in another lesson.
Anyway, let’s begin….
A Nightmare on Elm Street, written and directed by Wes Craven and released in November 1984 smacked the horror movie across the face. The slasher subgenre specifically. Instead of a masked stuntman stalking victims, audiences were given an actor whose face was the mask. The makeup, designed by David Miller, was a fantastic representation of the burn scars in Craven’s screenplay. Craven and Miller purposely decided to stray from realistic burn victims to create something that would be realistic but fantastic. Englund’s makeup is layered in spots, so the burned flesh appears to be falling away from the muscle underneath, and there’s even melted pieces dangling. Vaseline and K-Y Jelly was applied to the makeup to give it a nasty sheen. And if you want to nitpick further, Fred Krueger’s sweater only has green stripes on the torso, the arms are red.
For the 1985 sequel, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, written by David Chaskin and directed by Jack Sholder, the makeup changed. Kevin Yagher picked up the makeup effects duties and redesigned the look. He and Sholder decided that Freddy should appear older, more healed. Gone was the double layer of makeup, never to return, and instead came a single layer of prosthetics but with more of a sculpt. Yagher thought a sharper chin and cheekbones would be more intimidating. He also gave Freddy’s nose a hook, a symbolic reference to one of cinema’s scariest villains, the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. The fedora Freddy wears is also different. It’s bigger with a wider brim. Freddy also occasionally had brown eyes in this movie. Finally, the sweater isn’t as thick as it was in the first movie, and green stripes have moved onto the arms. There are other differences in costume and such, but let’s focus on the face in this lesson.
In 1987’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, written by Wes Craven & Bruce Wagner and Chuck Russell & Frank Darabont, and directed by Chuck Russell, Yagher returned but changed the makeup again. The chin was dropped and the cheekbones were lessened. The scars became more defined again, though not as much as in the first movie, and the revealed muscles are a light, light pink, almost the same as the flesh. The differentiation between the open flesh and the melted flesh can only really be seen in bright lighting, which there is little of in this film. The hook nose is also brought back a little, though it’s still present. Finally, the fedora has changed again. It’s small than both of the previous movies’ hats, though more in style with the first film’s hat. The sweater’s thickness and bulkiness is also different.
Yagher’s makeup for A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988), written by Brian Helgeland, Jim Wheat and Ken Wheat, and directed by Renny Harlin, is very similar to the previous movie’s makeup. The chin is given only the tiniest bit more definition and so are the cheekbones. They’re not the overdone version seen in Freddy’s Revenge, but are just noticeable. Also, the nose is a little more hooked again. The patterns of the exposed muscles are very similar to that of the third movie’s but are more define by their paint jobs. This is, arguably, the most famous Freddy Krueger look. At least for anyone who was aware of Freddy in the 1980s.This was the face that appeared everywhere! The hat is very similar, if not the same one as, the third movie’s. Ditto the sweater.
David Miller returned to Springwood in 1989’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, written by Leslie Bohem and directed by Stephen Hopkins. Some of the wounds on Freddy’s head in the original film were quite big and Miller went back to that. He kept the hooked nose but lost the cheeks and chin. The neck is almost chicken-like. Freddy looks withered and old in this movie. The hat is seemingly similar to the previous two entries but the sweater is different, brighter in color.
When Freddy returned for the final time in 1991’s Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, it was only natural his originator should return. By that I mean David Miller did the makeup again. With a script by Michael DeLuca, director Rachel Talalay’s Freddy Krueger is a strange hybrid between the 3/4 makeup and the 5 makeup. The fedora has changed again, looking much more like Indiana Jones’s fedora than ever before. The sores on Freddy’s face are a little smaller and the cheeks, chin, and nose are amplified again, but there’s a strange fleshiness to the face now. Maybe Englund gained weight? Either way, the makeup is some of the weakest in the franchise, because in close-ups, it looks like a man wearing a rubber mask.
Do I even have to talk about Freddy’s look in Wes Craven’s New Nightmare? Craven’s true return to the franchise as writer-director had him rewrite the rules and turn a magnifying glass on his own movie. The Freddy in this film isn’t really Freddy Krueger, but rather an evil spirit/demon that had inhabited Freddy. The look is purposely different, though Craven said in an interview sometime in the last year or so that he thinks he maybe should’ve left Freddy’s look alone. I disagree. David Miller also did the makeup for this movie.
How do you follow up a masterpiece? With a cheesy money-grab monster fight. Still, in 2003 I paid my money down to see Freddy vs. Jason, written by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift and directed by Ronny Yu. In recent years, this makeup had superseded the Yagher makeup from The Dream Master as the most recognizable, though it obviously has its origins in Yagher’s design, which is a smart choice. That big spot that’s roughly the shape of South America on Freddy’s left cheek is like a feature-defining mole. I can’t seem to find any one person responsible for the look of Freddy in this film, but do you really care? Neither do I. (Not true, I do care, but it’s past my bedtime and I need to finish this thing!). Anyway, the chin and cheek enhancements are gone again. The hooked nose is far less prevalent but still there. The exposed muscles are much darker in color while the melted flesh is much brighter in color than their predecessors. This makeup really looks like a fan-made version of Freddy’s makeup. I wonder if they moved to silicon in this version. Anyway, the hat is different, still Indiana Jonesish, but by this point, what were the chances that Harrison Ford and company would return to that old franchise? The sweater is also much, much too dark.
And, finally, the Freddy Krueger makeup for the 2010 remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, written by Wesley Strick and Heisserer and directed by Samuel Bayer, goes realistic. To break free from the fantasy look that David Miller and Wes Craven agreed upon in 1984, they wanted Jackie Earl Haley’s Freddy to look more like a true burn victim. The problem is that when the camera is anywhere but up close, Freddy’s head looks like a meatball. Digital effects meant to enhance the design only hurt it because their work doesn’t match up from scene to scene, making there no one definite look to Freddy in this film. Even the hat changed throughout production. Basically, like the movie itself, the look is a mess.
All right. Are you ready for your test? I’ll let you review the material for a few moments and we’ll begin. Ready?
What’s wrong with the DVD cover and the Blu-ray menu?
And next time, we’ll talk about the differences in Freddy’s glove between movies.
Here I am, peeking in just to say hi. Sadly, I broke the chain the other day, Thursday, September 4th. I was just too goddamn tired and depressed to really motivate myself to do the editing I needed to do. So between June 24th and September 3rd, I wrote every day, mostly on the novel. That makes a 72-day stretch. I’m very happy. I worked last night (Friday) and tonight so a new chain is forming.
If you’re following my From Gotham to Gautham Batman film essays, rest assured that they’ll come. I already have the next four essays written, and have gathered the pictures for the next installment, Batman Returns (1992), I just have to format them, place them, and revise the essay. I also have to re-watch Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy.
So keep watching this space. I’m running as fast as I can.
Since I haven’t posted in awhile, and since it’s the holiday time of year, I decided to post something festive. Maybe it’s that I had both the teenager and the baby with me for the last few days and the baby is conscious of presents and fun. Maybe it’s that I’m getting older, but I seemed to have been craving Christmas music lately. So I decided to post my favorite holiday music for you. Keep in mind, this list is not set in stone and could change by tomorrow, but it’s mine and I love it.
10. Blue Christmas as sung by Bruce Springsteen
This is a recent addition to the list. By that I mean, it’s only a few years old. I’m not a huge Elvis Presley fan but one of my favorite songs of his is “Blue Christmas.” Back in 2010, Springsteen and the E Street Band played a show in Asbury Park, New Jersey that was taped. It was to promote his re-release of 1978’s Darkness on the Edge of Town and new album of previously unfinished and unreleased tracks from that era The Promise. The show featured only tracks that appeared on The Promise. Except for this song. I love the way Springsteen arranged it and the general atmosphere of the performance. Also of note, it would be the last “live” recording of Clarence Clemons with the band. He died the following June.
9. Happy Christmas (The War is Over) by John Lennon
Let’s call this one my Artsy Fartsy entry. I don’t know the words, it’s not on my iPod, but I still know it and like it. And it’s John Lennon. Come on.
8. Frosty the Snowman as sung by Jimmy Durante
I wouldn’t have even thought of this if not for a recent trip to the grocery store where this was playing. We grew up watching these specials and sometimes, the versions from those specials are what sticks. That’s the case here. Besides, it friggin’ Durante!
7. Jingle Bell Rock as performed by Hall and Oates
I love Hall and Oates. There. I said it. “Maneater.” “Your Kiss is on My List.” Egads, need I say more?! This song, along with its tongue-in-cheek hokey video, was a part of childhood I always loved. And I just like the song, too.
6. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Gene Autry
Look, if you grew up with parents who came from the 1950s or 1960s, you had this song played every Christmas. Growing up, the Gene Autry original was my least favorite version. Now, it’s the version. Well, maybe except for…
5. Silver Bells as performed by The Chipmunks
Christmas with the Chipmunks was the Christmas album in my household growing up. I loved it. “Rudolph” and “Frosty” and so many others were done in that madcap Chipmunks way with Dave Seville yelling constantly at poor Alvin. It was my life, only instead of Dave it was my parents and instead of Alvin, it was me. “Silver Bells” was a rare exception. It’s sung by Dave Seville and is a little sad. As a kid, I liked it but it was…well…quiet. Now, it’s the only version of “Silver Bells” I hear in my head.
4. Christmas in Hollis by Run D.M.C.
If you were growing up in the 1980s, and you were open to rap, you love this song. The video is even better. I remember my parents being…shocked? upset? amused?…that I liked this song and probably thought it was just a phase. Yeah, well, guess who rapped it to a 1-year-old the other day? That’s right. This guy!
3. Santa Claus is Coming to Town as performed by Bruce Springsteen
I love the song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” I loved the stop-motion animated special. I did not love the Springsteen version. Until recent years. The video shown is good, but the original recording from 1978 (I think, maybe ’81?) is where it’s at. The verse after the sax solo shows a reckless abandon and joy that is pure Springsteen and pure rock n roll. It’s a fun song, okay?
2. All I Want For Christmas is You by Mariah Carey
Yes, I love this song this much. I am not ashamed. It’s a damn good song. I like the music. I love Carey’s vocals. It’s a song that makes me happy. So there.
1. The Chipmunk Song by Alvin and the Chipmunks
This is Christmas to me. This is my favorite song on Christmas with the Chipmunks. It is my favorite Christmas song, period. It made me laugh when I was a kid. I could relate to it. It was just fun. And it still makes me smile. Love it!
Honorable mention goes to “Must Be Santa,” a song I never heard recorded but loved to sing in elementary school.
For me, Christmas isn’t a religious holiday. It’s a day (or time period) to spend with family and friends, to be together, perhaps exchange gifts, eat, and have fun. And enjoy some music. So have a happy Christmas, if you celebrate. If you don’t, go be with people you love, eat, and sing some songs anyway. We could all use a little more of that, right?
Strangely enough, found that someone did an Internet search for the following: “bill gauthier the shining book review titan magazine”. That’s oddly precise.
They found my bibliography.
The story behind the review is kind of funny. I found out (somehow or another) that some local guys were going to start a magazine called Titan, which would be something like The Improper Bostonian for the New Bedford area. I looked into being a book reviewer or somesuch and was told to submit a sample. So I wrote a review of Stephen King’s The Shining, figuring the editors would check out my style and see if it was a good fit, and then we’d go from there. They used the goddamn review. Then I was told that they’d be interested in more from me, but only if it was more contemporary.
I think it was the last thing I submitted to them. The pay was pretty bad, too. Meaning, it was nonexistent.
Anyway, I have copies of the actual magazine, if someone is looking for it.
The poll way back in July gave me a winner. However, I never got to the watch winning series of movies when I wanted to so I haven’t written the essays yet. That said, there’d been another set of essays I’d already started and am almost finished with, so that’s what I’m going with, especially considering next week’s significant date.
So the next movie series will be:
That’s right! Beginning next Friday the 13th, I’ll be posting my thoughts on the Friday the 13th movie series, or as some refer to them, the Jason movies.
Which I’ll totally admit that nobody voted for this series, but they came back on Netflix (well, most of them) and I began watching them again. As of right now, I only have one more to watch and write about, so the series is pretty much all set. Unlike my previous movie essays, though, some of these will be posted twice a week so I can get them all in by Halloween.
After this, the next series will be, finally, the winner of the poll. Which is…
You’ll have to wait.
So far the results for the poll have Batman on the Silver Screen tied with the Indiana Jones films for the lead. The Back to the Future movies are tied with Other: All of the Above. Nobody has voted for the Friday the 13th movies. I’ll give the poll a few more days in case you want to vote. Thanks to those who have already voted.
So after posting my views on Man of Steel and then the Afterword to From Krypton to Gautham, I needed a break and have mostly been focusing on fiction. Writing those essay series is like writing short books. That’s good, though, because it showed me that I can really do something like that. Also, your reaction to it, from the comments and just the traffic that these essays have brought to the website, are worth it. Thank you.
Still, I do intend to put other things up here as well. Most summers are pretty productive for me but this summer is slower because of the baby, but I have a few things in mind. But I would like to get to another series of movies. I’m trying to decide which ones. What do you think?
The first draft of the essay for Superman III is done. Tonight I’ll revise, gather images, and post. Sorry about the second delay.
Up, up, and awaaaaaayyyy!
I’m not sure who, if anyone, is following my From Krypton to Gautham series of essays on Superman on the big screen, but if you are, this week’s essay(s) on Superman II will probably be delayed. As you know, I’m a high school teacher by day, and I have a 7-month-old baby (the 15-year-old doesn’t keep me up at night or have a diaper to change). This is the end of the school year and I’ve been tired as well as busy. My normal writing time these days is between 9-or-10 and 11 and lately, I’ve needed the sleep or have been busy doing school stuff.
The good news is this: My last day of the Day Job for the 2012-2013 year is next Tuesday. My intention is to finish the first essay on Superman II (I’m at about 1,800 words now and am close to finishing) in the next few days and post is as soon as it’s done. I will also then be rewatching and then writing an essay on Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut within days following. My goal is to have that essay, along with Superman III‘s essay, online next week. I’d hoped to have the two versions of Superman II up this week but it just didn’t happen.
I also intend to write more on this blog in general, maybe even try my hand at a vlog post this summer. Who knows? One of the things I discovered doing the few radio appearances is that I enjoy talking like that, so I’d like to try it in some way. I may even do a podcast-type thing, or audio posts, if that’s possible. We’ll see. So if you’re sick of only seeing movie-related posts, my intention is to make sure that’s not all that’s happening here.
Stick around. Things will get interesting.
Just so you know…
If you’ve been following my blog lately, you know I went through the Nightmare on Elm Street series of movies and I’ve since given the hint that I’ll be doing essays on Superman, too. Rest assured, I’m not intending to make this a media-related blog only. It’s just that I’ve been very busy with the six-month-old, the fifteen-year-old, my wife, my day job (teaching), and writing, which is, I suppose, why you come here. The essays are part of the writing category (I’m trying to broaden my horizons). Somewhere in all that, I need to sleep, to read, and to live. So…the in-between posts have been few and far between.
I intend to write some soon, though. I have thoughts on the horrible act of tagging, and I’m still thinking about doing what I call “Passive Aggressive Responses to Facebook Statuses That Annoy Me”. We’ll see about that last one.
So hang in there. Once school is done, I’m sure things will be a leetle easier.
An Introduction to the Introduction
Back in 2010, when I was still using LiveJournal, I decided that I would embark on what I thought would be a cool little project to keep my mind working. I would write about each of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, leading up to the release of the remake, starring Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger. I enjoyed doing this a lot, and I had several readers who seemed to enjoy it. Since Warner Bros. has finally seen fit to release the original series on Blu-ray, I’ve decided to bring those essays back over the coming weeks. I’ve decided to revise these essays and perhaps add/excise some material. If you enjoy them, please pass the link on to other Nightmare fans, aka, Fred Heads (I guess…). Following the Nightmare on Elm Street essays, I plan on delving into Superman on film, leading up to the release of Man of Steel.
I hope you enjoy!
The Original, Albeit Revised Introduction
When I was nine years old, I got it in my head that I was ready to watch scary movies. Part of it was insomnia. I had already begun to suffer from it by then and would sneak out of my bedroom to watch TV. HBO and Cinemax had a whole bunch of interesting choices, most of them full of violence, sex, and horror. Another part of it was surroundings. Before Mom went back to work (I was eight) she would watch Dialing for Dollars on the Providence CBS affiliate Channel 6 (it’s an ABC affiliate now), which would often show (very much edited) horror films. I’m sure the last part of it was nine-year-old bravado. I was a big boy now. So I told Mom I was ready to watch scary movies with her and she nodded. About a week later, she reminded me of my claim and told me about two movies she’d watched on HBO, back-to-back.
“They’re called Nightmare on Elm Street,” she said. “They’re about this guy with a claw who kills teenagers in their dreams. If you die in a dream, you die in real life. The first one was very scary, the second one stunk. I’ll let you watch them if you think you’re ready.”
I said I was.
So the next Friday night, HBO aired both A Nightmare on Elm Street and A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, hosted by Freddy Krueger. Her assessment on them was pretty accurate.
There is a belief among some people that horror movies and children don’t mix. Maybe they don’t. As an adult, I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and paranoia; but I don’t think that’s from seeds planted in my mind by Freddy but rather natural inclinations, not to mention a good five years of being bullied. I became obsessed with Freddy Krueger, which was great because a few short months later, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors came out and–after much begging–Mom took me to see it.
The Nightmare on Elm Street movies (or as people had taken to call them as early as the third flick, the Freddy movies) were something big in my childhood. Not as big as Star Wars or comic books, but pretty close. Without those movies, I may not have become aware of Stephen King, which means I may not have been interested in trying out his books, which means I may never have bought The Shining on my thirteenth birthday, and may never have tried my hand at writing, and….
Well, you get the idea. You can thank Freddy for this.
Anyway, even though I know they’re mostly bad, I still occasionally watch them. I’ll watch the first one far more than the others, though, followed by Wes Craven’s New Nightmare and then the third flick. But make no mistake, I love ’em all!
When it was announced that there would be a remake, I sighed. I’m not against remakes per se, but I was a bit bummed that a piece of my childhood that meant so much to me was going to be played with by someone other than its creator. When I saw who was behind it, I groaned. I had sat through their remake of The Amityville Horror and the most horrific thing about that movie was that I’ll never regain those precious hours of my life.
When it was announced that Jackie Earle Haley would be playing Freddy Krueger, my interest piqued. He was getting a lot of good buzz for Little Children and Watchmen (the former is a pretty good movie and his performance is great, the latter has brilliant moments but is merely good overall; certainly no Citizen Kane-of-Comic-Movies as some would have you believe, but Haley’s performance is, again, great).
Then came the Tweets and blogs and the normal press and…well…by July 2009, I was eager to see the movie. What can I say, I’m easy. To prepare, I watched all the original movies on DVD nearly a year before the movie would be released. And once the movie was released, well….
So over the course of the next ten weeks (usually on Thursdays), I’ll be releasing a newly revised essay on my thoughts about A Nightmare on Elm Street and its sequels. If you’ve read these before, I hope you enjoy rereading them. If this is your first time experiencing nightmares in Gautham, well, I’ll be here to guide you. Take my hand, but be careful for the knives on my fingers….
So I’ve been playing around with the idea of changing the look of this site for a while and finally found something I like. I hope it looks all right. Someday when I can afford my own web person, I can really go all out. But for now, here is the new look. I’ve done my best to try to make it user friendly.
Enjoy and feel free to let others know about it!
How is it that this is my first post of 2012?! For anyone who actually follows my website, I apologize. The Day Job has been very busy and when I’m not doing work for that, I’ve been, well, writing, which is (I assume) kinda sorta the reason you’re here. I’ve been wanting to try to post more often, shorter posts, and we’ll have to see what comes of that.
Things I’ve been doing lately that you may (or may not) find interesting:
I’ve been re-reading Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower series. I’m about a 3rd of the way through the third volume, The Waste Lands, and am re-enjoying these books. This is, of course, to prepare myself for King’s new novel: The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole. I also watched Cujo last week. I haven’t seen the movie since I was a teenager (or perhaps in my early twenties). I enjoyed it again, and feel it still holds up. I’m still reading A Visit from the Goon Squad, which I began in January. I was enjoying it but have been too immersed in a variety of things that make me long for the comfortable familiarity of the King books. More about King’s books, etc, in another post.
Another favorite of mine, Bruce Springsteen, has been promoting his upcoming album Wrecking Ball with appearances at the Grammy Awards and, this week, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The Springsteen camp (his kid sister starred in the 1980s teen slasher flick Sleepway Camp, in case you wondered) has been releasing for one day only one track from the album. Overall, I’ve been enjoying them, though I still love the first track (available on iTunes, et al) “We Take Care Of Our Own“, which has the “Born in the U.S.A.” kind of anger in it. I’m looking forward to the album on March 6th.
There’s stuff in politics, and on Facebook and Twitter that I’d like to comment on, but I don’t have time right now. But come back soon, I’ll do my best to begin posting more often.
Happy Leap Day.
I’ve been working on this site for a couple of hours, at least. I added cover images to the short stories and nonfiction pages and added a Catalysts page. Hopefully, it’s easy to navigate and looks all right. There will be more changes coming up in the next few days/weeks, I’m sure. Pamela said I should add an image to the front page so I’ll probably to that at some point (of course, that image will probably end up on every page, so I guess I better make it a good one).
One of the things I noticed as I worked on the bibliographies was the small amount of credits considering the decade since “Icarus Falling” was first published in Greg Gifune‘s Burning Sky: Tales of Science Fiction Terror. Even more glaring to me is that once “The Growth of Alan Ashley” was published in Borderlands 5, it seemed that the only names one sees is Borderlands or Dark Discoveries. Now, I’m not complaining, I’m going to explain. Or at least try to, because I’m sure the following is going to read a lot more like excuses than reasons (and that’s primarily because they are). Read the rest of this entry